Luke Foley’s kids drawn to dad’s big day

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Originally published: The Daily Telegraph, 6 January 2015.

By Alicia Wood

Luke Foley’s kids Aoife, 8, Niamh, 6, and Patrick, 5, spent his first press conference as Labor leader drawing pictures of dad in front of the cameras.

After he was done, Mr Foley hugged and kissed his wife Edel McKenna and caught Patrick who jumped up for a hug.

Before long, Patrick had changed into a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume and was running around the new Opposition Leader’s office while his older sisters fussed over him.

Mr Foley’s upbringing was different. By the time he was eight, his father had left, leaving him and twin sister Bridget to be raised by single mum Helen.

“I’ll always remember when my father left home,” Mr Foley said. “I was a bit too young to register the importance of it at the time, but I never saw him again. But mum gave us a great upbringing.”

Helen Foley, 84, now battling breast cancer, did typing work and Mr Foley and his sister were able to go to local Catholic school St Leo’s Wahroonga because the priests waived the fees.

Mr Foley said family was his biggest concern when deciding whether to run for the leadership.

Besides his mother, he has enjoyed guidance from leading Labor figures including former prime minister Paul Keating.

Originally published as: Luke Foley’s kids drawn to dad’s big day